This is a step-by-step guide to organizing help at home in case you can't do housekeeping tasks like cleaning, running errands, groceries, cooking or bringing the kids to school yourself anymore. The following is based on my own experience with domestic help in Berlin but might apply for home help anywhere in Germany.
This post is not a review of cleaning services like Helpling but a guide to getting help at home from organizations that partner with your health insurer. This means some of the costs might be covered by your health insurance plan.
Step 1: check the requirements to receive domestic help in Germany
- You must be officially registered and have healthcare in Germany.
- Other people in your household can not do the work e.g. your partner has a job.
- You are impaired by sickness, pregnancy or childbirth or after a stay in hospital.
- A child under 12 or an impaired child must stay at home and there is no parent or other person who can stay at home source.
Step 2: find organizations that offer help near you
The first step is to find an organization in your neighborhood that offers household assistance.
Enter your postal code in the search form on www.zqp.de. Check boxes like Wohnen, Pflege, Beschwerden. The form is in German only. The result is a list of organizations that offer help. Sometimes spoken languages are indicated.
Call or e-mail the organizations. Ask if they are available and whether they partner with your health insurance provider in order to have the costs covered. Not every organization might offer the help you need. Be prepared to call several organizations. There are big organizations like the Red Cross and smaller privately run companies.
Step 3: apply with your health insurer
Call your health insurer to send you the application form. Techniker Krankenkasse doesn't have the application form for Haushaltshilfe on their website but they have Haushaltshilfe FAQs.
Important: Ask the helping organization to fill out the application form with you. They know which boxes to check in order to get the best help at home and to ensure your health insurer actually pays for domestic help.
I personally found the Techniker Krankenkasse, which usually offers very good health services, to be a bit reluctant to pay for my help at home after my accident. The hours they covered were less than I applied for but they paid most of them. Please note that not all costs are covered.
I hope this article helps you! More related German words to look up:
- Pflege von Angehörigen